A letter to my legislator:
I just wanted to let you know I find it appalling, at a time when this country is still mired by a recession, that the Vermont government is heaping another gas tax on citizens who can barely afford to keep their head above water.
As if gas prices weren't high enough, and as if those prices weren't one of the major components that led to this current economic disaster to begin with, Vermont apparently believes it's fine time for the people to pay even more.
Yet another fiasco created in large part by a state that has virtually lost its "checks and balances" system due to its short-sighted one-party political system. I presume that in the end some of this revenue will be heading to fund the new health care program the legislature passed when this governor was newly elected -- as it was at the time knowingly and irresponsibly passed with legislators having no idea of how it was to be funded.
To make matters worse, it's deplorable that the legislators have concocted the "we're taxing gas to make the "out of staters" pay when they vacation/visit/buy second homes" here. How abhorrent to take advantage of the "us against them" discriminatory mentality and further pit natives against those who hail from out of the area. It continues the prejudice & discrimination perpetrated by natives who mistakenly believe that everyone from anywhere else has had it better than them. The mentality is ridiculous and the Legislature capitalizing on it to further their agenda is shocking. Not to mention the most obvious problem with this "strategy." It will of course be taxing Vermonters themselves each and every time they pull up to the pump.
Must I remind the legislature and the governor that if it were not for these visitors/tourists and second-home owners that Vermont would have long ago exhausted most avenues of revenue, have few successful businesses that capitalize on these folks and have real estate values close to worthless? Tourism revenue is and has been Vermont's mainstay for over a century and a popular old adage cautions: "Never bite the hand that feeds you."
I find this out-of-control spending and taxation irresponsible and the "justification" behind it to be a ruse.
As far as being taxed in Vermont to pay for other folks' medical insurance coverage, I oppose it. My husband worked every day for over 40 years to earn the insurance coverage we now have. We retired to Vermont to live in a countrified setting, not to be over-burdened by taxes for costs to cover those who either choose not to work or will be relocating to Vermont specifically to take advantage of the health care system.
I can only hope others like myself -- Vermonters living in or near border towns -- will choose to gas up in New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts or even Canada prior to heading back to their state of residence.